Monday, February 21, 2011

Contradictory Instincts

Rose has twain hunting breeds within her. The Beagle, plus the Italian Greyhound. One hunts solely by nose, as he was bestowed a keen sense of smell. The other uses his beautiful brown eyes to spy prey. Beagles sniff out game from far-off distances, roaming free for endless miles, their masters absent. Italian Greyhounds, canines that prey by sight and physical velocity, are also known as gazehounds. Both purebreds hunt rabbits. Our backyard wildlife does not include those cute, furry, floppy-eared critters. If it did, no doubt my mongrel would chase them with her swift, graceful gait!! Instead, we frequently encounter squirrels!! Rose is fascinating to watch as she witnesses a bushy-tailed rodent. While staring longingly outside through our great room sliding glass door, should my dog observe one scampering across neighbors' fences, or nibbling on birdseed, her body will twist repeatedly in excitable circles. Ready for the chase!! I open that door.... And with quick velocity, out she runs!! Thankfully, Rose has never caught one.... My canine may be fast, but they are much faster!! While already in our backyard when a squirrel enters, she shows silent patience. Rose will sit, stock-still, her eyes fixated upon that rodent for the longest time.... Until finally deciding to chase!! Once, she sat, beneath our patio roof, staring a bushy-tailed squirrel down. "He" was under the fly-through bird feeder, scavenging dropped seed. She had positioned herself on the edge of our patio's cold cement pavement. Rose was not sitting far from "him".... Yet for ten minutes, my mongrel watched the rodent, her ears perked, forehead furrowed, body trembling with immense joy. Until finally, she ran!! I oftentimes wonder when Rose hunts those backyard squirrels, which instinct, albeit contradictory, my dog inherited!!

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